Chase vs. Capital One Credit Cards

by Elizabeth Aldrich | Dec. 19, 2018

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Chase and Capital One are two of the biggest credit card issuers, especially when it comes to high-value rewards credit cards and tempting welcome offers.

You'll find plenty of similarities between the best Capital One credit cards and the best Chase credit cards, but there are some important differences to note. Ultimately, the best credit card for you is going to depend on your personal spending habits and financial goals. Let us break down the differences between the two issuers and where some of their strengths and weaknesses lie in order to help you decide.

Comparing Chase and Capital One credit cards

Both Chase and Capital One offer a range of different rewards credit cards as well as credit cards for people with average credit. Capital One does tend to offer more options for people with lower credit scores, while Chase tends to offer more credit cards for people with excellent credit who want high-powered rewards.

Chase has a referral program that rewards customers -- often as much as 10,000 points -- each time they refer a friend who is approved for their credit card. Capital One, on the other hand, does not have a referral program.

The two issuers both have a zero fraud liability policy which means that you are liable for $0 in the case of purchases declared to be fraudulent.

What you need to know about Chase credit cards

Chase offers some of the most coveted rewards credit cards out there, and there are plenty of options for doubling or even tripling up your Chase credit cards to accumulate rewards even faster.

That being said, they do have some idiosyncrasies when it comes to credit card approvals. The Chase 5/24 rule is the most prominent of those, which limits approvals to people who have opened less than five credit cards in the past 24 months. If you've opened five or more credit cards in the past two years, you won't be eligible for a Chase credit card until you fall below 5/24 again.

What you need to know about Capital One credit cards

Capital One also has its own rules when it comes to credit card approvals. While you can have as many Chase credit cards as you'd like, Capital One doesn't allow you to hold more than two personal credit cards with them at once. They also pull your credit report from all three bureaus when you submit an application, so you'll get three inquiries on your credit history instead of one.

Which one is better for you: Capital One or Chase?

As mentioned before, Capital One and Chase both have their strengths and weaknesses. When deciding which credit card is best for you, it's important to look at the type of credit card you're interested in obtaining. Here are my general picks for best issuer depending on the type of credit card you want.

Type of credit card Winner
Travel Chase
Cash-back Capital One
Credit-building Capital One
Business Chase
Balance transfers Chase

Of course, this will vary depending on your spending habits and needs. The analysis below explores the two issuers' top credit card in each category to help you decide.

Our credit card expert uses the card we reveal below, and it could earn you $1,148 (seriously)

As long as you pay them off each month, credit cards are a no-brainer for savvy Americans. They protect against fraud far better than debit cards, help raise your credit score, and can put hundreds (or thousands!) of dollars in rewards back in your pocket each year.

But with so many cards out there, you need to choose wisely. This top-rated card offers the ability to pay 0% interest on purchases until late 2021, has some of the most generous cash back rewards we’ve ever seen (up to 5%!), and somehow still sports a $0 annual fee.

That’s why our expert – who has reviewed hundreds of cards – signed up for this one personally. Click here to get free access to our expert’s top pick.

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